Virgil van Dijk has been accused of arrogance in Liverpool’s opening day defeat of Leeds United.
Mohamed Salah’s late penalty rescued all three points for the Reds at Anfield, as the Egypt ace hit a hat-trick to fire his team to a 4-3 victory.
Leeds impressed on their return to the top-flight after 16 years, coming back from a goal down three times before Salah’s late spot-kick – his second penalty of the match – condemned them to an opening day defeat.
Salah got the match ball as he saved his under-performing teammates with a fine hat-trick
While Liverpool’s attack was as sharp as ever, their defence was shockingly below par and put in a performance not seen since before Van Dijk moved to Anfield in January 2018.
The Reds’ backline was transformed overnight when the Netherlands ace joined from Southampton, as Liverpool went from calamitous to calm and porous to peerless with just one signing.
But Liverpool’s defensive woes resurfaced on Saturday evening as Leeds cut through their backline with ease, and former Aston Villa forward Gabby Agbonlahor has accused Van Dijk of being arrogant and not putting in the required effort against Marcelo Bielsa’s side.
Everyone knows Virgil van Dijk is an unbelievable defender,” began Agbonlahor on talkSPORT’s Weekend Sports Breakfast. “On the ball he can switch the diagonals, and defensively no one wants to come up against him.
But I felt yesterdays performance was, from Van Dijk, arrogant; that flick he made in the goal he gave away, it felt like we are playing Leeds United, its going to be an easy game and I can let my standards drop.
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And in that game, he did [let his standards drop].
Even Trent Alexander-Arnold on the right was poor defensively as well.
Van Dijk is a great defender, and he will be one of the greatest defenders to ever play the game, but when people start putting him in the Vincent Kompany and Rio Ferdinand bracket
I think people forget how good certain players were as time goes by.
People forget how good Rio Ferdinand was in his prime; you wouldnt even want to go on the same side of the pitch as him!
It was the same with Kompany, and John Terry as well; you just wouldnt want to take them on as youd have no chance.
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Virgil van Dijk is an amazing defender, but you cant put him in that category of Rio Ferdinand and Vincent Kompany yet.
Agbonlahor actually furthered his criticism to claim the ENTIRE Leeds defence were arrogant against Leeds on Saturday evening.
“I feel like it was arrogance from Liverpool defensively today,” he added on the Sports Bar Weekender. “Like they didn’t realise how good of a team Leeds really are.
“I feel a lot of teams watching Leeds will be more wary of how they play, and this may be a wake-up call for Liverpool as well.”
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